KAIGYOKUSAI MASATSUGU of Osaka [1813-1892]; a very fine ivory okimono,

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Lot 32
KAIGYOKUSAI MASATSUGU of Osaka [1813-1892]; a very fine ivory okimono,

Sold for £ 19,800 (US$ 24,004) inc. premium

Asian

7 Dec 2005, 10:30 GMT

London, Knightsbridge

KAIGYOKUSAI MASATSUGU of Osaka [1813-1892]; a very fine ivory okimono,
carved as a barefoot boy seated on the back of a recumbent ox; 2.75 inches [7 cms.] long; signed on the base in a rectangular reserve Kaigyokusai with seal Masatsugu [slight old damage]

Footnotes

  • Kaigyokusai's work is represented in both the British Museum, and in the Victoria and Albert Museum. For the B.M. example, see 'Japanese Decorative Arts from the 17th to the 19th Centuries' [page 69] by Lawrence Smith and Victor Harris [1982] illustrating Kaigyokusai's unusual wood and ivory knife case designed as a frog standing on a bean pod.

    Kaigyokusai's carving of netsuke, however, is arguably his more successful and better known genre. For a good example cf. the netsuke exhibited in the V.&.A. [Clarke-Thornhill Gift/A.30-1919]. This work, carved as a boy seated on a recumbent ox beside a basket, is very similar in design to the okimono offered here. In both cases the ox is carved with its head to the left. However in the V.& A. example the boy holds the flute with both hands [illustrated plate 94 in 'Japanese Art and Design'/V.& A. Museum/1986]. Also of note is the Museum's netsuke of a sleeping boar, signed Masatsugu [Salting Bequest/A.942-1910], which is illustrated in Julia Hutt's 'Japanese Netsuke' [page 70]. Neil Davey's summary of Kaigyokusai's work discusses animals, signed with the single name Masatsugu; presumably therefore, this sleeping boar is also attributable to the artist ['Netsuke' by Neil Davey/1982/page 50 refers].

    Unusually, Kaigyokusai was also skilled when working in ebony, and in plum. See Bonhams and Butterfields, San Francisco, 28.9.05/lot 4491 for a fine seal with Koma inu finial, carved in ebony, and offered with a tomobako signed Kaigyokusai Masatsugu. A very similar seal by the artist, inscribed as having been carved from a plum tree, was offered in the Charles A. Greenfield Collection at Sotheby's, New York [18.9.1998./lot 125].
KAIGYOKUSAI MASATSUGU of Osaka [1813-1892]; a very fine ivory okimono,
KAIGYOKUSAI MASATSUGU of Osaka [1813-1892]; a very fine ivory okimono,
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